Built-up roofing describes specific roofs that use a foundation of ply sheets and bitumen layers, typically with a pebble-like surface material on top. This type of commercial roof is particularly popular for low-slope rooftops. When high-quality materials are used, built-up roofs can offer numerous advantages for many different types of buildings. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of a built-up roof and if it’s right for your building!
Low Maintenance – While shingles and built-up roofing have superficially similar materials, built-up roofing tends to have fewer maintenance requirements. Built-up roofing is installed in large sheets with a very low profile compared to architectural shingles. This means the roofing is less likely to get damage and has fewer individual parts that need to be replaced. This creates a more worry-free roof.
Long-Term Durability – With ballasted asphalt and a high-quality ply layer, built-up rooftops are surprisingly durable for their cost and efficiency. A good built-up roof can last as long as 30 years, especially in ideal warm climates. Compare this to an asphalt roll roof, a cheaper alternative that may last only 10 years or so. The money to longevity ratio for built-up roofing is far better, especially if you have a lot of low-slope roofing to cover over a short period of time – but you still want the roof to last.
Multi-Layer Protection – As we mentioned, built-up rooftops are made of bitumen, ply sheets, and surfacing materials. These materials combine to offer multi-layer protection with excellent insulation. Obviously this helps keep the building cool during warm weather, but those layers offer other types of protection as well. For example, moisture is one of the primary causes of roof damage: The layers and sheet-like nature of a built-up roof make it harder for moisture to find a way inside compared to many other materials, which can be a boon in rainy weather.
Fire Protection – Ballasted asphalt is a popular choice for this type of roofing because it provides an attractive finish and has additional fire retardant properties that some buildings may appreciate or require. On a similar note, there are also “cold” built-up roofing that is more environmentally friendly and doesn’t produce annoying and potentially harmful fumes (plus, it’s easier to install during inclement weather).
Easy to Repair if Something Goes Wrong – If built-up roofing gets damaged, it usually shows as blisters, ripples in the surface, or cracks in the material. These problems are relatively mild and easy to fix by removing the affected materials and patching the roof: It’s a fast, affordable repair project that won’t cause too much stress. Remember, a built-up roofing system are particularly dependent on the type of materials that you choose, so understanding your options is very important before you begin! Interested in learning more about roof remodeling and what a built-up project would look like for your commercial roof? Schedule your estimate today!